I have been watching / reading the news with interest about all the fuss of heels. I know the issue really has been the fact that Nicola Thorp was required to wear something that had no logic and was gender biased and could therefore be considered sexist but of course the topic can get clouded with other peoples views and issues. This is what I wanted to blog about. People start commenting that heels are a sexist symbol, that men only want you to wear them because of their own personal fantasies. etc. etc. etc.
First I heard of the article was through a college, who sent this email.
No danger of this happening to you!!
Then I received 4 more emails. All saying similar things. You see I LOVE HEELS. And I wear them everyday and all day. In fact if I don’t wear them, then staff are worried. Is everything ok???? I get asked. Today I am wearing my Dorothy shoes. After yesterday I feel like I may need to click my heels and go back home. ( hasn’t worked yet, but I am still hopeful). Anyway why do I wear/ like heels so much? Well to start with I feel short in flats and I teach 18 yr olds, mostly boys who are all taller than me, so I like a bit of height. They don’t hurt. I break in all my shoes in by wearing fluffy socks and doing ironing for an hour or so. I like the look of them and they make me feel good. As simple as that. I don’t think people treat me any differently and if anything I would say the female staff notice a lot more than the male staff. So I am not sure that I agree with the fantasy argument. I don’t wear them to please people.
I use my love of heels a lot in PSHE lessons or assemblies. Normally along the theme of, we all have our weaknesses , mine is my inability to walk past a shoe shop without looking at it. Or if a child is being bullied because they are different, they often feel alone or isolated. I point out we all have something we don’t like about ourselves, mine is my height. In fact I was often teased about it at school. Don’t really want to use the word ” bullied” but it was close. I would often cry and miss the bus on purpose because of certain people on the bus. It wasn’t just my height. I was spotty, greasy and had braces. In fact my nick name was ” Beaker”, from the muppets. I have attached a picture just in case you can’t visualize him. Yes I don’t get it either, he isn’t spotty , greasy nor does he have braces, but …………….
So perhaps my heels are my security blanket, I actually like the idea that they are my armour. Not saying that every day is a battle, but the heels help. In a previous blog, I scolded my 5th yr pupils for stating that Marilyn Monroe was her role model but perhaps I was too quick to judge, because sitting on my desk, is an excellent quote. ” Give a Girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world” A mug a student bought me as a thank you. And I have to agree with the sentiment.
Everyone has something that makes them feel better, stronger, and they should be allowed to express this. I realise that we are role models as teachers and should be considerate about what we wear, but I don’t think heels or flats are the contentious issue. Now flip flops are a different issue!